How Much Data Do I Need When Travelling

Internet Access on the Go: How Much Data Do I Need When Travelling?


Smartphones and mobile data are synonymous with elevated efficiency and smooth connectivity. The advancement in the telecommunications market segment has helped travelling smartphone users to successfully break major obstacles in the communication channel. However, the fundamental question “How much data do I need when travelling?” arises in the minds of millions before planning for a long holiday or an international business meet.

Easy and affordable access to cellular data has significantly enhanced user experience. Individuals can consume online content, scroll through social media apps, and share messages with absolute convenience while being on the go. However, using internet amenities in foreign locations conventionally requires people to pay a tag bit more.

With over 5.35 billion internet users on a global scale, the demand for affordable data roaming is on the rise. Some of the foremost concerns related to this concept are:

  • Is international roaming expensive?
  • How does data roaming work?
  • How do I conserve and use data judiciously?
  • Does my carrier network support data roaming?

And many more! Join us as we debunk these rudimentary queries and address the fundamental question “How much data do I need when travelling?”

Understanding the Data Matrices

Before jumping the gun, let us gain a complete understanding of data roaming and relevant data matrices to influence smooth decision-making. These factors play a key role in determining the final phone bill amount that a user is compelled to pay.

Mobile data refers to the availability of digital data conducted through wireless networks. The infrastructure relies on cellular signals that are effectively harnessed by carrier towers. Mobile data transmission is initiated through various mobile network generations such as 3G, 4G, LTE, 5G, 5G SA, etc. 

The data transmitted in the form of uploads and downloads are received and interpreted by the nearest carrier towers around the concerned user. The data sent or received by a mobile is measured through various matrices such as Kilobytes, Megabytes, and Gigabytes.

Individuals travelling to a foreign location must activate data roaming amenities to effectively access mobile data. As already specified, carrier networks rely on specific location-based cell towers to monitor data transmission. Therefore, mobile operators work with a defined range as their services are limited to a particular country/geographical location.

By activating data roaming while being present in a foreign country, smartphone users seek temporary support from overseas carrier networks. Due to this additional support from an external mobile operator, availing data roaming amenities requires individuals to pay a higher amount.

Do You Use More Data While Travelling Abroad?

The overall data consumption requirement entirely depends on the independent needs and preferences of a specific user. Conventionally, individuals travelling abroad tend to consume less cellular data when compared to being present in their home nation. 

However, the charges implemented for mobile data consumption with activated data roaming amenities are higher. This is the primary reason why people must pay extra money to access the internet abroad. Moreover, the development of the “Fair Use” policy adopted by various carrier operators makes data roaming more user-friendly.

The Average Amount of Data Travellers Use?

The total amount of data used by travelling customers depends on various factors such as browsing preferences, streaming quality, download frequency, and overall duration of travel. 

However, the estimated average amount of data consumed by travelling users conventionally ranges between 500 MB to 1 GB per day. Based on these observations, we can conclude the fundamental question “How much data do I need when travelling?”

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Common Reasons to Use Data When Travelling in a Foreign Country

The contemporary world is heavily dependent on internet usage. Mobile data plays a fundamental role in maintaining unparalleled communication. The aspect of exchanging information, extracting data, and viewing online content is streamlined through the provision of cellular data. All these aspects are rudimentary in our daily lives and continue to remain relevant even while travelling.

How Much Data Do I Need for International Travel?

Let us now critically address the foremost question “How much data do I need when travelling?” by reviewing the most common mobile activities and the amount of data required to fulfil these objectives.

A. Google maps

Smartphone users are bound to access Google Maps while travelling to a foreign location. The application plays a vital role in ensuring individuals reach their desired venue. Conventionally, accessing Google Maps is considered to be data-friendly as the mobile activity only consumes around 3-5 MB of data per hour.

Users may also choose to download maps through the offline mode to save additional data allowance. Follow these simple steps to download Google Maps offline:

  • Step 1: Unlock your mobile device and navigate to the Google Maps application.
  • Step 2: Input details of your destination.
  • Step 3: Click on the “About Section” and tap on the three vertical dots highlighted to successfully download the offline map.

B. Web Browsing

Web browsing is also considered to be a data-friendly mobile activity as the function only consumes 1-3 MB per page. According to a recent study, web browsing requires 50-60 MB of data every hour when used continuously.

C. Accessing Email

Accessing email also consumes minimal amounts of data and can be initiated with absolute ease without worrying about burning a hole in your wallet. According to recent reports, individuals can access close to 350,000 emails with a total data allowance of 1 GB. Simply put, users can send and receive mails by only using 20 MB per email [depending on the overall size of the attachments].

D. Translator

Google Translator is another popular application that is heavily used by travelling international smartphone users. The application records voice commands and translates them to the preferred language of the final user. 

Another additional benefit of working with Google Translator is that it operates in an offline mode, allowing travellers to download a 52-language package that can be accessed with the presence of any internet connectivity.

E. Streaming

Streaming online content consumes a considerable amount of cellular data. However, the option of adjusting the overall quality of the stream can assist smartphone users in conserving valuable mobile data while travelling.

  • Data Consumed while Streaming Audio Content

Let us consider the data consumption rates of Spotify to gain a complete understanding.

Audio Quality Kbps One hour stream 40-hour work week
Low Audio Quality 24 Kbps 10.8 MB 432 MB
Normal Audio Quality 96 Kbps 43.2 MB 1.7 GB
High Audio Quality 160 Kbps 72 MB 2.9 GB
Very High Audio Quality 320 Kbps 144 MB 5.7 GB
Podcast Audio Quality 96 Kbps 43.2 MB 1.7 GB

Spotify operates with five audio quality options starting from Low Audio Quality to Very High Audio Quality. Individuals choosing Low Audio Quality will burn the least amount of data.

Users are recommended to opt for the Auto Quality Mode so that the audio quality can be automated and adjusted according to the carrier signal strength. Moreover, be sure to download your favourite songs to enjoy them offline as well.

  • Data Consumed while Streaming Video Content

Online video streaming proves to be expensive, especially for travelling smartphone users as mobile activity consumes the most amount of mobile data. Regardless of the video quality preferred, users can expect to burn close to 500 MB every hour on popular streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube.

Consequently, streaming high-quality videos will consume 1 GB of data in only 20 minutes. Travelling smartphone users are recommended to limit online video streaming so that mobile phone bills can be effectively managed. Be sure to download your favourite movies or TV shows while being connected to a Wi-Fi server to conserve a significant amount of data.

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F. Social Media 

Analysing the data consumption rate associated with viewing social media content can be difficult to fulfil. This is primarily because Social Media platforms cater to a wide range of content types in terms of music, videos, and reels. 

Conventionally, all premium Social Media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter stream high-quality content. This automatically means that a larger amount of cellular data is required to effectively access and consume Social Media content.

Therefore, users must be very careful while viewing online content on such platforms, as it will definitely consume a large portion of data if left unmonitored. We recommend our readers browse through Social Media platforms and upload content when connected to Wi-Fi. 

G. Video calling

Individuals who like to stay connected with their friends through video calls or have professional responsibilities that compel them to conduct video conferences will spend up to 180 to 270 MB of data per hour. 

Travelling smartphone users are recommended to connect on short calls or seek assistance from a Wi-Fi network to successfully conserve data. The following table gives us an overall idea of average data consumption rates for popular mobile activities:

Mobile Activity Average Data Consumption
Email and Web Browsing 50 MB per hour.
Scrolling through Social Media 600 MB per hour.
Streaming Video Content 500 MB per hour.
Streaming Audio Content 50 MB per hour.
Video Calls 250 MB per hour.

Talk Home Mobile International and Roaming Plans

Uplift your travel experience by staying connected throughout with the assistance of Talk Home Mobile. Attain free roaming benefits across 45 EU countries paired with calling benefits worldwide starting at £10. Visit the official Talk Home Mobile website to gain more detailed information about the international packages offered by the premium network.

How to Monitor Mobile Data Data?

The best measure of analysing your independent internet usage habit is by tracking data consumption directly on your phone. iOS users must access the Cellular Setting menu to review data consumption rates for every application installed. 

Android users can fulfil this objective by navigating to the “Connections” option and reviewing the “Data Usage” tab highlighting the applications using the majority of mobile data. Smartphone users may also choose to download specific cellular data tracking applications to gain complete knowledge.

How to Save Data while Travelling Abroad?

Monitoring data consumption habits plays a vital role for smartphone users who frequently travel abroad. The most effective technique for conserving cellular data is to collaborate with a reliable mobile operator that offers free roaming across various locations. 

Carrier service providers like Talk Home Mobile ensure that subscribers do not have to pay roaming charges while travelling in EU-registered nations. Moreover, nominal roaming charges are implemented while venturing beyond European boundaries. Let us now review some additional tips that should help us to save data while travelling abroad:

A. Setting a Data Sending Cap

Every carrier network employs a monthly default data spending cap when a user avails international roaming services. This feature allows users to spend a defined amount of mobile data in a month. Mobile data amenities are automatically restricted when the daily data allowance expires. 

The default data cap varies among different mobile operators ensuring users do not rack up on their phone bills. According to the EU telecommunication standards, the average monthly default data cap is estimated to be around £45. However, travelling smartphone users must ensure to set independent daily data according to their independent needs and requirements.

This aspect will give you complete control over the amount of calls and texts a user wishes to make. Moreover, the concerned user will be able to use a specific amount of cellular data influencing sustainable use of mobile internet resources.

B. Using Wi-Fi and Free Calling Applications

Gaining access to public Wi-Fi networks is critical while travelling abroad. Users must ensure to locate and identify regions where free Wi-Fi amenities can be accessed. Restaurants, cafes, and hotels ensure to provide their customers with free Wi-Fi service. Moreover, using free calling applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype can assist in saving a considerable amount of funds in the long run.

C. Be Active in Downloading Content

Travelling smartphone users are recommended to download movies, music, TV shows, and maps while being present in their home nation. Seeking assistance from public Wi-Fi proves to be convenient, however, users conventionally do not prefer to download larger files while being on vacation abroad. Therefore, it is essential to keep your phone travel-ready by downloading relevant applications and content before jumping on a flight.

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D. Activating Low Data Mode

Enabling Low Data Mode is an efficient strategy to limit rising phone bill obligations. This nifty feature assists users with limited monthly data packages to monitor data consumption by disabling passive mobile phone activities. Follow these simple steps to activate the Low Data Mode:

For iOS:

  • Step 1: Unlock your iPhone to access the primary Settings application.
  • Step 2: Select the “Cellular” option and click on the “Data Mode” tab.
  • Step 3: Identify and tap on the “Low Data Mode” function to activate.

For Android:

  • Step 1: Unlock your Android device to access the primary Settings application.
  • Step 2: Select the “Network and Internet” option.
  • Step 3: Scroll through to identify and select the “Data Saver” option.
  • Step 4: Tap on it to toggle on/off according to your convenience.


These were some of the foremost aspects that helped us to address the fundamental question “How much data do I need when travelling?” Be sure to conduct thorough online research and collaborate with the Talk Home Mobile customer support team to learn more.


Conventionally, using mobile data abroad requires an individual to pay higher amounts when compared to their home country.

Yes! Users will be able to receive phone calls with disabled data roaming.

The privilege of availing free roaming benefits across Europe depends on the independent service policy of the carrier network concerned. Premium mobile operators like Talk Home Mobile ensure to provide free roaming services across all EU-registered nations.

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